The HPV vaccines protect against infection from certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause genital warts and cancers of the anus, cervix, mouth and throat, penis, vagina, and vulva.
The HPV4 vaccine (Gardasil®) and HPV9 vaccine (Gardasil®9) are approved by Health Canada for use in males.
The HPV4 vaccine is recommended and provided free to males who are at increased risk of HPV infection. This includes males:
At this time, males are not eligible to receive the HPV9 vaccine for free. There is limited benefit to males provided by the additional five types of HPV covered by HPV9. The greatest benefit is for females.
The HPV4 and HPV9 vaccines are recommended, but not provided free (unless mentioned above), for:
Those not eligible for free HPV vaccine can purchase the vaccine at most pharmacies and travel clinics and at some sexual health clinics. Some health insurance plans cover the cost of the vaccine.
*Starting September 2017, BC's publicly funded immunization program will include the HPV9 vaccine for grade 6 boys. Therefore all grade 6 students in BC, both female and male, will be offered the HPV9 vaccine series for free as part of the regular school-based immunization program. For more information please refer to the Ministry of Health announcement: B.C. extends free HPV coverage to boys.
It is best to get immunized before becoming sexually active and coming in contact with HPV; however, people who are sexually active may still benefit from the vaccines. The vaccines do not treat HPV infections.
If you are a health care provider looking for immunization information, please visit the Health Professionals section of the BCCDC website. There you can find clinical resources, immunization courses, print resources for patients and more.
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